Shellac and gel manicures changed the manicure game forever when they arrived. You can go about your day without worrying about chipped tips because the cured polishes are so easy to use. It also prevents fragile nails from breaking, allowing them to grow to unexpected lengths. On the other hand, gel can break your natural nails, especially if you remove them the wrong way. Researchers have not investigated the long-term effects of exposure to UV light from gel manicures. Dermatologists are also concerned about the use of UV to harden the polishes.
As with a bad haircut or color, gel damage is an inevitable reality, says Essie celebrity manicurist Michelle Saunders. The good news is that (nails) will replenish and grow (like hair) no matter what you do to them. So after a couple of back-to-back gel appointments, give your nails a little rehab. The following are some of the most common gel manicure issues, as well as the simple fixes.
Problem #1: Your natural nail has white spots or lines, and/or the nail plate feels uneven.
Gel post-removal damage is usually caused by the removal procedure. When you use the wrong tools and techniques, you can create microtrauma on your tips. Using a nail file, first break the seal of the gel before applying a cotton ball soaked in pure acetone to the nails. Place a piece of foil over the cotton before filing. With the help of a nail file, the gel should flake off after 10 minutes (or more). This step should not be done with a metal cuticle pusher. As the nail plate softens after an acetone soak, even gentle scraping can lead to white spots or divots.
The white spots are erased by the nail growing out completely after three to six months. If you apply gel to your nails, give them a break so that the gel for cracked nail repair plates can work. Smoothing and hardening the nail can be accomplished by using a base coat that has a gelatin matrix. Dr. Melanie Palm prescribes Genadur, a lacquer that strengthens nails with field horsetail, to her patients who have weak nails.
Post-Gel Problem #2: Your nails break constantly after they have been gelled.
Since your nails have grown used to the protective coating of gel (which keeps them from breaking), your daily activities may cause breakage, explains Saunders. You may want to consider cutting your nails to a short, manageable length if your nails snap at every little tap and touch.
Post-Gel Problem #3: Your nails are peeling and flaking.
Dead skin, especially keratin (which makes up hair) is the main component of nails. According to Saunders, nails can become dry and brittle (just like hair after too much coloring or styling). Nails also lose moisture more quickly than other skin surfaces, according to Palm. You can rehydrate your hands by using cuticle oil like Essie Apricot cuticle oil and hand cream like Bigelow chapped hands remedy after washing your hands. Palm says to stay away from extremes such as being very dry or very hydrated. When the nail is super dry, it becomes brittle, and when it is too hydrated, it becomes soft-both situations make the nail more vulnerable to damage. Use a cream at night to keep hands moisturized, wearing cotton gloves over it to enhance penetration. You may have also made another rookie mistake by peeling off the gel from your nails. “A layer (or more) of your nail plate is removed every time you peel off the gel without breaking the bond.”